Don't let your bike lie there unloved over the winter months! There are some great events happening this winter, whether you fancy exploring the scenic Jurassic Coast, trying your skills on the 4X track or bombing down the descents in the Forest of Dean.
1. Wiggle Super Series Purbeck Hill–a–Saurus
Date: Sunday 17th November
Location: Near Corfe Castle, Dorset
Length/Duration: Standard (20 miles), Epic (25 miles)
More info: Wiggle
Sea views, rolling grassland, swooping single track and even a looming castle. Grab your mountain bike, wrap up warm, and hit the hills of the Jurassic Coast.
The wonderfully named Hill-a-Saurus in Dorset is your last chance to join in one of Wiggles legendary mountain bike events, and despite the name it’s rated 3 out of 5 on Wiggle’s difficulty scale – manageable for most riders.
Well organised, the Super Series events have all the elements you’d expect covered – electronic timing, feed stations, parking, mechanical support, a marked course and bike wash.
2. 661 Mini Downhill
Date: Sunday 1st December
Location: Forest of Dean, Coleford, Gloucestershire
More info: Mini Downhill
If you fancy the excitement of riding downhill, but you’re not a huge fan of pedalling uphill and don’t fancy massive jumps and gaps, than Mini DH is the perfect event for you.
A laid-back atmosphere and the chance to ride the course a few times before racing down two timed runs make this format a really enjoyable one.
There’s a women’s category, and if you find you develop a taste for it, there are three more events in the series – great for progression. Or for bringing your friends along next time!
3. Evans Cycles Ride It! Classic Series Hampshire
Cost: £15 in advance, £17.50 on the day, children free
Date: Saturday 7th December
Location: Cliddesden, Hampshire
Length/Duration: Short (18 miles), Medium (28 miles), Long (32 miles)
More info: Evans Cycles
These well-organised events have everything you’d expect; mechanics, feed stations, and way-marked routes. They also have electronic timing, so you’ll be able to see exactly how quickly you spin through the route.
The rolling Hampshire hills is the location for this event, and it’s rated 3 out of 5 on the Evans’ difficulty scale, so it will be more than manageable for most riders.
You’ll be able to check out the route in advance at Evans release the GPS files before hand, and there’s also Garmin units demo units for use – for free! There’ll also be a wash station, so you can de-mud your bike before heading home.
4. Halo winter 4x Series
Cost: £20 in advance, £25 on the day
Date: Sunday 10th November
Location: Chicksands Bike Park, Haynes
More info: Chicksands 4x
Tempted to give 4X racing a go? Chicksands Bike Park run a winter series, so you can try this race discipline on an all-weather track.
The first event is coming up soon, on the 10th November, but you’ll have more chances on the 9th February and the 9th March. Alternatively, enter all three and see how you progress!
There’s limited numbers so the vibe will be small and friendly, and there’s a separate ladies race category. A hard tail MTB is perfect for this, but pretty much any MTB will see you through.
5. Innerliethan Day/Night Enduro
Cost: £30 in advance, £35 on the day
Date: Saturday 30th November
Location: Traquair Forest, Innerliethan
Duration: Max. 4 hours to complete 4 stages,
More info: Innerleithan MTB Racing
What could be better than playing in the woods on your bike? Why, that would be playing in the woods in the dark on your bike.
Get a taste of enduro racing with a difference with this event in the Scottish borders. There’ll be some fun technical riding, on a course that includes a number of timed stages. You’ll go once round in the daylight, then when the sun sets you get to do it all again – in the dark.
There’s a women’s category, and riders will be sent off on the course one by one. You’ll need specific kit for this one – not least some really good lights – but it sounds like such a fun event!
Headline image copyright Sonambulant on Flickr